Played in just about every country, the sport's success is due to the fact that it can be played by boys, girls, men and women of just about any physical build and ability.
Football requires little in the way of specialized equipment and is organized using simple, intuitive rules.
It's so fundamental to the future of Special Olympics' growth plans that it is the focus of their Global Football initiative.
Football is perfect for Special Olympics Unified Sports, in which people with and without intellectual disabilities play on the same teams. In 2010, Special Olympics held its Unity Cup in conjunction with the FIFA World Cup.
5-a-side is played on a smaller (often indoor) pitch and has, as you might expect, five players on each side. It is often played at a much more intense pace than its 11-a-side counterpart and the competition at the Special Olympics GB Summer Games will be fierce with almost 250 Special Olympics Athletes competing to take home the gold for their team.
If you want to go along and show your support, you'll find the competition on the University of Bath Astro Pitches from 29th-31st August.